LEXINGTON, Ky. — The Food as Health Alliance, based in UK’s College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, celebrated its official launch. The event was held on April 26 at the Food Connection and brought together board members, donors, and partners to lay the groundwork for reducing food insecurity and improving diet-sensitive health outcomes across the Commonwealth.
The Alliance seeks to integrate partnerships between clinics, community, academics, and industry, To create a statewide approach to delivery, evaluation, and technical assistance for food as medicine programs. This event featured the announcement of a $200,000 contribution from the Kentucky Association of Health Plans, which will fund four upcoming research pilot projects in urban and rural communities. The four pilot programs have key partnerships with industry, non-profit, and clinical entities to understand the most cost-effective and clinically meaningful food delivery program, such as grocery prescriptions or medically tailored meals. Clinical outcomes and impacts on healthcare costs will be measured among food-insecure adults experiencing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and gestational diabetes.
“I am so moved by the array of individuals and organizations across our state that are devoted to reducing food insecurity and improving the health of our residents,” said Alison Gustafson, Ph.D., RD, MPH Director of Food as Health Alliance.
The event also highlighted the Alliance’s accomplishments since its soft launch in January 2023. These accomplishments include the development of a website and social media accounts, producing 10 nutrition-focused cooking videos, releasing internal grant funding, and planning clinician training videos.